Giants’ place Peppers on IR with ACL injury, high ankle sprain

The Giants today placed safety Jabrill Peppers on injured reserve with two injuries to his right leg – a rupture to the ACL in his knee and a high ankle sprain, team announced on Tuesday.

He was hurt in the third quarter of the Giants’ 25-3 victory Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.

Peppers is the third of the Giants’ seven captains to suffer a season-ending injury. Offensive lineman Nick Gates suffered a fractured lower left leg at Washington on Sept. 16 and middle linebacker Blake Martinez tore his ACL 10 days later against Atlanta. Another captain, running back Saquon Barkley, has missed the last two games with a sprained ankle he sustained in Dallas on Oct. 10.

Peppers is a five-year veteran who is in his third season with the Giants. This season, he played in all six games with five starts and had 30 tackles (19 solo), including a three-yard sack of Sam Darnold on Sunday, two tackles for loss, four quarterback hits and one pass defensed.

The Peppers transaction was one of several the Giants made today. The team waived cornerback Josh Jackson and wide receiver David Sills. Another defensive back, J.R. Reed, terminated his practice squad contract with the Los Angeles Rams and will join the Giants’ active roster tomorrow. Defensive tackle Woodrow Hamilton was terminated from the practice squad.

Reed entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2020. He was waived at the end of training camp and signed four days later to the Rams’ practice squad. Reed was added to the active roster three times last season. The Rams released him on Oct. 2 and signed Reed to their practice squad on Oct. 5.

Reed’s father, Jake, played in the NFL for 12 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints.

Jackson was obtained by the Giants on August 17 in a trade with Green Bay for fellow corner Isaac Yiadom. He suffered a calf injury and was inactive for all seven games this season.

Sills made his NFL debut on Sunday, one day after he was signed off the Giants’ practice squad. He was targeted once but did not catch a pass.

Sills spent the entire 2020 season on injured reserve after fracturing his foot in training camp. In the 2021 preseason, Sills had a team-high seven receptions, for 94 yards, including an eight-yard touchdown in Cleveland.

Eagles’ Sirianni: ‘I love this roster; I love our defensive roster’

Things started well for the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in Las Vegas against the Raiders. Philadelphia went on an eight-play, 67-yard scoring drive on the team’s opening possession, resulting in a 13-yard TD pass from Jalen Hurts to Kenneth Gainwell to take an early 7-0 lead.

Philadelphia committed to the running game on that series, and Miles Sanders rushed for 25 yards on five attempts.

However, it was all downhill from there. The Raiders would score 30 consecutive points and take a 30-7 lead into the fourth quarter. Philadelphia would score two meaningless touchdowns in the fourth and would fall to the Raiders 33-22. 

Philadelphia had a difficult time stopping the Raiders’ offense. Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr was 31/34 for 323 yards and two touchdowns, interception. The Raiders had 442 yards of total offense.

Following the game, Eagles DT Fletcher Cox, who was notably frustrated during the game, appeared to take a shot at Eagles DC Jonathan Gannon after he was asked about a screen play.

“I don’t get paid to play screens,” Cox said after the game. “I get paid to sack the quarterback, play in the backfield, tackle. I don’t get paid to play screens. We get screened all the time. Get out of stack and run to the football.”

On Monday, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni addressed Cox’s comments.

“You know what, frustration, everyone has frustration after you lose,” Sirianni said. “As players, coaches, everybody is going to have frustration. We’ll talk about everything. We’ll talk through it. We’re going to address anything that we need to address as a team. But I’ll keep those conversations private that we’ll have there.

“I understand Fletch’s frustration. I’m frustrated. He’s frustrated. We just got to do everything we can do to get the ship righted.”

Not many expected the Eagles to be very good in 2021. Plus, the early part of their schedule was challenging. After winning their first game on opening day, Philadelphia has lost two straight and five of its last six games, but the next ten games should be manageable for the Eagles starting next week on the road against the Lions. In those ten games, Philadelphia plays three teams who are currently above .500. 

However, none of that matters for the Eagles if they don’t play better on both sides of the ball. Defensively, the question becomes, is it Gannon’s game plan, or is it the players? The linebackers are below average, the secondary is below average, and the defensive line is average. They are not getting after the quarterback with their front four, and they’re not blitzing, so the secondary is getting exposed. Also, they are not stopping the run. Philadelphia is 28th against the run, so teams are doing anything they want against this Eagles’ defense. 

According to Sirianni, he has had conversations with Gannon about making changes to the defensive schemes.

“Well, with our conversations, Jonathan and I’s conversations, it is just mixing up the coverages. He did that a little bit more yesterday. Still, it didn’t, obviously, work in the sense that [Raiders QB Derek] Carr was 31-of-34.

“We just talked a lot – we know we can get home with our four defensive linemen when they’re there. We just talked a lot about tightening it up as far as the way we’re mixing in some man-to-man, the way we’re mixing in some of the zones with the man-to-man. Just different ways to challenge on the perimeter and get our hands on balls and get in the throwing lane. That’s been the main discussion. It’s been more about to be able to mix a little bit more man-to-man in there…

“I love this roster; I love our defensive roster. I got a lot of faith in them. Again, we’re working like crazy to get it fixed.”

In terms of the offense, they have to be more consistent there as well. Hurts is young, so we should expect struggles, but they can run the ball more and just have a little bit more imagination on offense. 

The Eagles are a bad team right now, but it does appear the coaches could do a better job of putting the players in a position to succeed.

Flacco to the Jets

Eagles have acquired a 2022 conditional sixth-round draft pick from the Jets in exchange for QB Joe Flacco, the team announced on Monday. Flacco, who signed with the Eagles in the offseason, played with New York last season.

“Joe(Flacco) is just a great person to be around, great pro to be around,” Sirianni said. “Had a phenomenal preseason and was really good for our room. The opportunity arose for him to go and be able to contribute somewhere else. Then also, obviously, us get a pick for that.

“But our time with Joe Flacco was really good. We really appreciated him and everything that he did. He’s a great pro. You can see why he won so many games when he was in Baltimore and all the other places he’s been.”

Update on Sanders:

Sanders left the game in the first quarter after injuring his ankle. Sirianni gave an update on Sanders:

“Miles will probably be down. Actually, we are week-to-week with him, pardon me. It’s a stretch for him to be up this week, but we’re not ruling anything out yet.”

Giants’ Jones on one-handed catch: ‘I just tried to pull it in’

Injuries and poor play on defense have hampered the New York Giants(2-5) this season. Due to injury, New York was without four of their top offensive weapons in Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, and Kadarius Toney against the Panthers on Sunday, but it was next man up for New York.

Wide receiver Dante Pettis stepped up and caught five passes for 39 yards and a touchdown. Running back Devontae Booker had 51 yards rushing and a touchdown, and the Giants’ defense kept the Panthers out of the end zone as New York snapped a two-game losing streak and defeated Carolina(3-4) 25-3 at MetLife Stadium.

Coming into this game against the Panthers, New York’s defense was ranked 26th, but on Sunday, they stepped up. Carolina finished with only 117 passing yards and 173 yards of total offense. The unit also forced a safety when they pressured Darnold in the second quarter. He threw a pass from the end zone that wasn’t near an eligible receiver, resulting in an intentional grounding penalty.

In addition, the Giants forced one turnover and sacked Darnold and P.J. Walker three times. Ultimately, Panthers head coach Matt Rhule benched Darnold in the fourth quarter. 

Giants corner James Bradberry, who spent four seasons with the Panthers and had an interception on Sunday, believed the New York’s defense frustrated Carolina’s offense.

“I think their whole offense was getting frustrated,” he said. “I know that our front seven did a great job of rushing the passer and getting after the quarterback. I think that affected him today. As far as seeing another quarterback come in, I’m not sure, he’s just another quarterback to me, and I’m trying to get an interception. That’s what I was thinking when he got in. I figured we still have to make some plays to keep our offense ahead.”

Giants DE Leonard Williams, who had 1.5 sacks on Sunday, felt the defense had to step up and carry the team.

“As a unit, we kind of talked about putting the team on our back more and how our team is—what we think our team is built around the defense,” he said. “We take pride in being a defensive team, and you know, so far this year, we haven’t really been stepping up to the plate, and I think this was a really big game for us. We didn’t allow any touchdowns, and we’re putting our offense in some good field position, and we closed the game out like we wanted to.”

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones made the play of the game. The third-year quarterback, who was 23/33 for 203 yards and touchdown, made a one-handed grab for 16 yards in the third quarter after a throw by Pettis was a little high. The play helped set up New York’s first touchdown.

“Yeah, it was a pretty unathletic route getting out there, so he put it out there for me, and I just tried to pull it in,” Jones said. “Good play, good design, something we’d worked on all week. Good throw by (Wide Receiver) Dante (Pettis).”

Outstanding all-around performance by New York, and now they get ready to head to Kansas City to battle the Chiefs on Monday Night Football.

Watch below as Jones talks catch, and reacts to win over Panthers:

Giants’ Judge: ‘I don’t quit things, these players don’t quit things’

After one quarter, the New York Giants led the Rams 3-0. However, things fell apart in the second quarter. New York would turn the ball over three times, which led to 14 of the Rams’ 28 points in the second quarter. The game was pretty much over as Los Angeles led 28-3 at the break. The Rams(5-1) would score 38 straight points and defeat the Giants(1-5) 38-11 at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

New York came into this game for the second straight week missing key players on offense, including RB Saquon Barkley and WR Kenny Golladay. Against the Rams, New York would lose rookie wide receiver Kadarius Toney and second-year LT Andrew Thomas. 

New York had a hard time protecting quarterback Daniel Jones, who was sacked four times on Sunday. In addition, Jones, who had struggled with turnovers in previous seasons but had done an excellent job this season of protecting the ball, had four turnovers against the Rams. Jones finished the game 29/51 for 242 yards with three interceptions and lost a fumble. 

Despite the turnovers, Judge still has a lot of faith in Jones.

“We’ll look specifically at what happened, but Daniel has improved as a player,” Judge said. “Daniel is a guy that we’re going to have success with. He’s a tough dude; he’s a good competitor; he’s a leader on this team, does everything we ask him to do, does everything the team needs to see from a guy in the leadership standpoint to do and perform. We’re going to have success with Daniel. There are obviously things we have to clean up from today.”

New York also struggled defensively against Los Angeles. Rams QB Matthew Stafford threw for 251 yards and four touchdowns, interception, and Los Angeles had 131 yards on the ground. Last week, the New York’s defense gave up 516 yards of total offense and 37 points against the Cowboys, which defensive coordinator Patrick Graham called unacceptable.

“We obviously gave up too many points no matter what the situation was,’ Giants DE Leonard Williams said. “We allowed them in the end zone too many times. No matter how we started off, we didn’t finish the way we wanted to.”

At 1-5, the Giants have put themselves in a hole, but Judge believes there’s still time to turn things around.

“There’s a lot of ball left to be played,” he said. “There’s a lot of ball left to be played. We’re in Week 6, so to turn around and start tapping out now – I don’t know what kind of mentality other people have, I don’t quit things, these players don’t quit things. We’re not going to do that.”

The Giants are not a good football team right now, and injuries have definitely hurt this team, but their last two games have been unacceptable, and they have to find a way to get things right next Sunday against the visiting Panthers if they went turn the season around.

Washington’s Heinicke: ‘We just couldn’t get the ball rolling in the second half’

The Washington Football Team(2-4) battled hard against the Kansas City Chiefs(3-3) on Sunday and led at halftime, but Kansas City took over the game in the second half and would defeat Washington 31-13 at FedExField.

Washington has now lost two straight and three out of their last four.

In the first half, Washington had 200 yards of total offense and led 13-`10 at halftime, but they had only 76 yards of total offense in the second half and did not score.

WFT QB Taylor Heinicke, who completed 24-of-39 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown, felt the team could not put anything together in the second half.

“We just couldn’t get the ball rolling in the second half, whether it was penalties or keeping it on the sticks, or the defense making a good play, or a dropped ball, bad throw,” Heinicke said postgame. “We just couldn’t put it together. It was frustrating. But again, we’ll get better.”

According to Washington head coach Ron Rivera, the team needed to play a complete game to beat the Chiefs.

“I think the message to the guys more so than anything else is we have to handle adversity,” Rivera said. “We have to play two halves of football. We played a good first half. We didn’t play a good enough second half to give ourselves a chance to win. We’ve got to be able to handle the mistakes, correct the mistakes and just keep going forward. The truth is it’s the sixth game; we’ve got a few more left to play, obviously. We’ve got to shake this one off, learn from it, and get ready for next week. It’s all we can do.”

All four of Washington’s losses have come against teams .500 or better, so the schedule has not been easy, which Rivera addressed after the game.

“We did lose to four good teams, but we could have also beat a couple of them,” Rivera said. “That’s the hard thing to swallow if you’re going, to be honest with it. I mean, we had a chance last week, a chance the opening game. You are what your record says you are. The only way we can get better is to practice, work at it and then go out and play better. And that's pretty much what we have left.”

The next three games for Washington won’t be easy as they have two straight road games against the Packers and Broncos, and back home against the defending world champions, the Buccaneers, so the schedule will continue to be difficult, but Washington has to find ways to overcome it.

Sean Taylor’s jersey retired:

At halftime, the Washington Football Team retired the late Sean Taylor’s number #21 jersey. The Taylor family and friends were honored on the field with a framed Sean Taylor #21 jersey. Also, the team formally commemorated the renaming of the road leading to FedExField as Sean Taylor Road in a pregame ceremony with Taylor’s family, alumni, and team representatives.

Taylor spent four season in NFL, all with Washington. Sadly, his life was cut short after being shot by intruders who tried to burglarize his home back in 2007. He was only 24 years old.

Below are highlights of Taylor’s ceremony from today:

Jags’ Lawrence: ‘We decided earlier this week, we’re going to win this game’

The Jacksonville Jaguars(1-5) have done it! Jacksonville snapped their 20-game losing streak and won for the first time since Week 1 of the 2020 season as they came from behind to defeat the Dolphins(1-5) 23-20 in London on Sunday after a 53-yard field by kicker Matthew Wright with no time left on the clock.

In addition, both Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer and number one pick Trevor Lawrence get their first victory in the NFL. 

“It’s special,” Lawrence said postgame about his first NFL victory. “Obviously, we’ve had a rough My first win, out here, like it’s just hard, hard to even imagine.

“It’s awesome. I’m just really proud of this group. We decided earlier this week, we’re going to win this game, and we talked about it on the sideline, there’s going to be so many ups and downs throughout every game you’ve just got to keep playing, and we did that and found a way to win.”

Meyer added: “Well, we needed a win. Someone asked me last week if we were desperate for a win, and we are desperate for a win.”

Lawrence became the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to win a game in London. He completed 25-of-41 passes for 319 yards and one touchdown, marking the most passing yards by a Jaguars quarterback in their eight international games. With less than 2 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Lawrence completed all three of his passing attempts for 20 yards to set up the game-winning field goal attempt.

Meyer was impressed by what he saw out of Lawrence and Wright.

“There was a lot of things to fix,” Meyer said. “But you saw a young quarterback make a big-time play at the biggest time of the game, and then a young kicker that we just signed a couple weeks ago pop two 50-plus yarders, so it was a great win.”

Initially, with the game tied at 20 with five seconds left, Meyer and the Jaguars were going to throw a hail mary, but Meyer and OC Darrell Bevell changed their minds and Lawrence connected with Laviska Shenault on a nine-yard pass with one second left, which gave Wright a better shot to make the game-winning field goal.

After the game, Meyer explained why he changed his mind.

“We were going to do a Hail Mary, or one of the Big Ben plays just a jump ball in the end zone, and I kept staring at the clock, and we practice this every week, and it’s called slider,” he said. “It’s where you get the ball, and we usually say six seconds, five seconds, and we told our quarterback and Laviska, and I had the official right there, and I said, as soon as he catches and goes down, time-out. He caught it, time-out, and there was still that one second left. We practice that quite a bit.”

It turned out to be a great call by the Jaguars to go with the short pass, and now Jacksonville gets their first win of the season. Hopefully, for them, they can build off this victory as they head into their bye week.

Bucs’ Brady on win over Eagles: ‘Obviously, we didn’t play our best’

Three games in 11 days are rough for any team in the NFL, which was the case for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and on Thursday night, the Buccaneers concluded those three games in 11 days with a 28-22 road win over the Eagles for their third consecutive victory.

Tampa Bay was not at their best against Philadelphia, but they did enough to get the job done. QB Tom Brady, who came in battling a thumb injury, completed 34-of-42 passes for 297 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. 

The Buccaneers’ defense also held the Eagles 213 yards of total offense.

“Definitely. It was a good win,” Brady said after the game. “It’s tough to win on the road. Obviously, we didn’t play our best. So we have to get back to work. We have a good little break here – use it – and then get back to work. See if we can get better.”

After the Eagles cut Tampa Bay’s lead to 28-22 late in the fourth quarter, Antonio Brown, who caught nine passes for 93 yards and one touchdown, helped put the game away with a 27-yard reception on the final drive.

“Yeah, [Buccaneers WR Antonio Brown] made a great play,” Brady said. “Just dipped underneath the guy and then found space – kind of what he’s done his entire career. He made a huge play; it was awesome.”

Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians added on Brown’s big catch: “It was huge. Great route and hell of a throw when you’re trying to get out of the pocket. It’s a couple times this year he’s thrown out of the pocket to the right and made a big play down the field.”

Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette also came up big. He accumulated 127 yards from scrimmage, taking 22 rushes for 81 yards and two touchdowns while also contributing six receptions for 46 yards. Fournette has now recorded 100-or-more scrimmage yards in three consecutive games. The five-year veteran, who joined the team late in training camp last season, feels much more comfortable this season.

“I came in two weeks before our first game, so just having that year under my belt makes a big difference understanding it,” Fournette said. “Especially, playing with my guys for a year–trusting them and them trusting me–the lack of trust and accountability is done on both sides.”

Brady added on Fournette: “He’s a great back. He’s big, tough, catches it, runs, blocks, does everything for us. [It’s] great to have him in there. Obviously, when he’s rolling, it’s tough to stop us.”

Tampa Bay is 5-1, and each time they have been 5-1(four times), the Buccaneers won at least ten games, so this is shaping up to be another excellent season for the defending world champions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eagles’ Hurts: ‘I hold myself to a high standard of play’

The Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive struggles continued on Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Philadelphia, who had only 273 yards of total offense in a 21-18 victory over the Panthers last Sunday, totaled only 213 yards of total offense in the team’s 28-22 loss to the Buccaneers at Lincoln Financial Field. 

Philadelphia scored only seven points in the first half but made the game close in the fourth quarter. However, it was too little, too late.

“Just like us, we prepare as well as the other team,” Eagles OT Jordan Mailata said postgame. “I feel like [the Buccaneers] came out there and knew what we were doing right away. We just had to adapt – and it took us a little bit of time to adapt – but like I said, they do their homework, too. Just like we do. We have to learn to adapt, and we have to learn to adapt faster.”

Second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts was only 12/26 for 115 yards, touchdown, interception. He also added two touchdowns on the ground. Hurts struggled with accuracy and were not very sharp, but he made no excuses after the game.

“I don’t want to make excuses for anything,” Hurts said. “I know I hold myself to a high standard of play, and I am trying to go out there and play at a high level for the guys around me. We all do that. We all have that mentality to go out there and play together and have each other’s backs. You look at this game and this past game that we played in, and we started off slow. This whole year, we kind of shot ourselves in the foot, and we know, and we believe.

Despite the struggles, Hurts remains confident.

“I have unwavering faith in the guys on this football team and everybody on this field and that we have everything we need,” Hurts said. “It is just a matter of us putting that together. It is tough, but I have unwavering faith with everyone in this building and that it will come. To go toe-to-toe with a team like that, as bad as I started. It is bad, and we didn’t click early. When it came down to clutch time, at the end of the game, we ran out of time.”

Philadelphia’s best weapon on offense running back, Miles Sanders, had only one carry for one yard in the first half, but Sanders was more involved in the offense in the second half. He had eight carries for 55 yards, and the Eagles’ offense benefitted. 

When asked if the offense worked better when Sanders is involved, Hurts said the following:

“We saw the production later on in the game.”

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni explained why we saw Sanders get more touches later in the game.

“The way they were playing at the end of the second quarter into the third quarter is when they started playing the zone read a little bit different, which opened up a couple of those runs that we had called for that,” Sirianni said. “It was good adjustment by our offensive staff getting to those runs after they made a little adjustment how they were playing the zone read.”

The Eagles’ offense has to be better. That includes both Hurts and Sirianni. The offense seemed very predictable on Thursday night. It’s clear if they want to get better, Philadelphia has to give Sanders more touches in the run game going forward.

Washington Football Team to retire Sean Taylor’s jersey on Sunday

During the Washington Football Team’s October 17th matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, the team will honor nearly 100 alumni at FedExField, while also paying a special tribute to Washington alumnus and football legend, Sean Taylor. Taylor’s family will join the team on-field for a pre-game ceremony in which Taylor’s contributions to the team will be remembered alongside the retirement of his jersey number, 21. This will mark only the third time in the team’s 89-year history that a jersey number will be officially retired.

The team also will formally commemorate the renaming of the road leading to FedExField as Sean Taylor Road with family and friends of Taylor before the game. Sean Taylor’s family will have the opportunity for a private visit at Taylor’s locker on the Club Level, which has been perfectly preserved from his last game, and will enjoy the game from specially reserved suites. Co-owners Dan and Tanya Snyder were especially close with Taylor and view him as an important part of the team’s legacy. They have remained supportive of his family over the years and will be helping to host the family during the game.

Taylor played for Washington during all four seasons of his NFL career. After being selected with the 5th overall and first Washington Football Team pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, Taylor established himself as one of the top young safeties in the league and a fan favorite. Following a successful rookie year, Taylor started 15 games and led Washington to its first playoff win in six years. By 2006, Taylor was one of the premier defenders in the NFL. Then, tragically on November 27, 2007, Sean Taylor’s life was cut short after being shot during a robbery attempt on his Florida home. Posthumously, Taylor was honored by the NFL and named a 2nd team All-Pro selection in 2007. The following year, Washington announced he would be inducted as only the 43rd member of the Washington Ring of Fame.

On Sunday, alumni players, including those recognized as part of the franchise’s 80 Greatest and Hall of Fame and Ring of Fame inductees, will be honored with a special on-field halftime celebration, during which they will be introduced by decade.

Brady named NFC Offensive Player of the Week

On Wednesday, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for Week 5.

He has now won 32 Player of the Week awards, extending his record for the most-such awards in NFL history

In a 45-17 win over the Miami Dolphins in Week 5, Brady completed 30-of-41 passes (73.2 percent) for 411 yards and five touchdowns, earning a 144.4 passer rating. He did not throw an interception for the fourth consecutive game, breaking his own team record by throwing 203 consecutive passes without an interception. Brady led all quarterbacks in Week 5 with his five passing touchdowns and 144.4 passer rating, while finishing second in passing yards.

Brady threw five-or-more touchdown passes in a game for the ninth time in his career, tying Peyton Manning for the second-most such games in NFL history. In addition, his 36 regular season games with at least four passing touchdowns surpassed Manning (35) for the second-most such games in league history. The game also marked the 12th regular season game in which Brady has thrown for 400-or-more yards, tying Ben Roethlisberger for the fourth-most such games in NFL history. It was the first game in Brady’s 22-year career that he threw for 400-or-more yards and had five-or-more touchdown passes.

Through Week 5, Brady leads the NFL in passing yards (1,767), ranks second in passing touchdowns (15) and fifth in passer rating (108.5). Since joining Tampa Bay in 2020, Brady ranks first in the NFL in passing yards (6,400) and ranks second in passing touchdowns (55).

Tampa Bay leads the league with its 349.4 passing yards per game and 98 passing first down this season, while ranking third in points scored (33.4). The Buccaneers have recorded 1,747 passing yards as a team so far this season, the eighth-most passing yards through five games in NFL history.